BlackRock Inc. announced yesterday that its earning rose 12% in the first quarter.

The investment arm of PNC Financial Services Group Inc. reported net income of $35.3 million for the quarter, up 12% from the year earlier and 4% from the fourth quarter.

Its assets under management totaled $273.6 billion, up 15% from a year earlier and 0.3% from the fourth quarter. Since Jan. 1, fixed income, equity, and alternative investment assets grew by $11.3 billion, and liquid assets declined $10.5 billion, the company said.

Nuveen Investments also reported positive first-quarter earnings yesterday of $32.6 million, a 9% increase over the $30 million in the first quarter of 2002.

Nuveen Chairman Tim Schwertfeger attributed his company’s success to its commitment to long-term investing disciplines, its institutional clients and the firm’s relationship with financial advisers serving high-net-worth clients, particularly with Nuveen separate account portfolios.

Dow Jones Newswires attributed the two firms’ increases to their reliance on fixed-income, also noting that Back Rock and Nuveen are among the few financial service firms with positive reports for the quarter.

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